Sentencing of violent sex offender adjourned

The defendant pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court
A PROBATION report has been requested in the case of a Limerick city man who sexually assaulted a middle-aged woman in a laneway on the southside of the city almost two years ago.

A PROBATION report has been requested in the case of a Limerick city man who sexually assaulted a middle-aged woman in a laneway on the southside of the city almost two years ago.

The 27-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons at this stage, was due to go on trial earlier this year after he initially pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual assault.

However, at the Central Criminal Court in March, he dramatically changed his plea and admitted the offence after a jury of 11 men and one woman had been selected for the trial.

The victim, who was aged 48 at the time, was attacked at a cul-de-sac, near Hyde Road, Prospect on October 13, 2013.

Sentencing was previously adjourned until this week to facilitate the preparation of a probation report in relation to the defendant, who is currently in custody.

However, on Monday, when the case was called at Courtroom number 13 at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan was told the case could not proceed as the Court’s request for a report had not been communicated to the Probation Service.

Lawyers representing the defendant insisted the report will be required before any submissions can be made on behalf of the defendant in mitigation

Lawyers representing the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed and the application for an adjournment was not opposed

Noting this, Ms Justice Heneghan granted the application and adjourned the case until July 27, next to facilitate the completion of the report.

She will hear the full details of the offence on that date and is likely to hear character evidence from relatives of the defendant.

She will also hear details of any victim impact statement which is prepared by the victim.

In addition to a potential prison sentence, the defendant also faces the possibility of his name being placed on the register of sexual offenders.

The maximum sentence for aggravated sexual assault is life imprisonment.